Homecoming Kings: Eureka Finishes Wisconsin Lutheran, 54-35

Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.
Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.

EUREKALe'Anthony Reasnover (Momence, Ill./Momence H.S.) continued his blitz on the Eureka College football record book with 283 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in the Red Devils' 54-35 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference victory over Wisconsin Lutheran, Saturday afternoon at McKinzie Field. The victory marked Eureka's third consecutive victory on homecoming weekend and its seventh homecoming win in the last eight seasons.

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The win extended Eureka's school-record regular-season win streak to 13 games. The Red Devils are 5-0 for the first time since 1991 and joins Concordia (Wis.) as the only NACC teams with a 2-0 league record.

Reasnover's six total touchdowns – five rushing, one receiving – increased his career scoring total to 456. According to the NCAA Division III record book, Reasnover now ranks tied for 13th in NCAA Division III history in points scored. His Saturday included 29 rushes for 207 yards and a pair of receptions for 76 yards.

Drew Barth (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) added 200 yards of total offense thanks to 134 yards through the air and 66 rushing yards on 12 attempts. He threw two touchdowns. Joe Hughes (Normal, Ill./University H.S./McKendree) tacked on 69 rushing yards and a touchdown on only five rushes, an average of 13.8 yards per carry. The Red Devils put up 499 yards of total offense.

Austin McCarty (Oakwood, Ill./Oakwood H.S.) led EC in tackles for the second consecutive weekend with eight stops. Amari Smith (Hazel Crest, Ill./Hillcrest H.S.) logged 2.0 tackles for loss and Cameron Lucas (Canton, Ill./Canton H.S./Upper Iowa) tallied a solo sack in the fourth quarter.

The Red Devils never trailed for the second consecutive weekend, opening up a 14-0 lead less than nine minutes into the action thanks to a pair of 1-yard Reasnover touchdown rushes. The Eureka defense set the tone just four plays into the game when Colton Fauver (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) picked up his eighth career interception to tie Rosney Beverly for fifth place on Eureka's career list since 2000.

The visitors slashed their deficit in half before the end of the first period when quarterback Pat Mathieson found Brandon Livingston for a 24-yard strike and a 14-7 score with 1:37 left in the quarter.

Two more Reasnover scores in the second quarter allowed the Red Devils to carry a 28-7 cushion into halftime. His 6-yard run at the 3:07 mark of the second quarter capped a 15-play, 85-yard drive that chewed more than seven minutes off the clock.

Reasnover's final score of the half was made for the highlight reel. Needing to cover 82 yards in 94 seconds, the hosts ultimately pushed to their own 44-yard-line in the closing seconds of the half. In search of a big play and without any remaining timeouts, Barth's dump in the flat to Reasnover allowed the All-America back to break free and race the WLC defense down the sideline and dive for the pylon as time expired.

Eureka began to pour it on thanks to Hughes's bruising 64-yard score less than two minutes into the second half for a 34-7 advantage, but the Warriors kept the pressure on the hosts. The two squads traded scores two more times over the remainder of the third quarter. Reasnover punched in a 35-yard run at the 10:55 mark of the third quarter and Barth also connected with Wesley Burris (Monmouth, Ill./Monmouth-Roseville H.S.) with 4:22 left in the quarter. The Warriors matched the scores and trailed 48-28 after 45 minutes.

The visitors inched within 48-35 when Mathieson found Javion Morgan on a 25-yard throw to the end zone with 13:40 remaining in the game, but Eureka wouldn't let WLC score again. Reasnover closed out the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown scamper with 4:10 to play to set the final margin at 54-45.

Eureka will take its first road trip since Sept. 1 next Saturday when the Red Devils visit Chicagoland for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Concordia (Ill.) in River Forest, Ill.

NOTABLES: Saturday's win was Kurt Barth's 50th as head coach and his 26th triumph at McKinzie Field … The Red Devils are 30-11 under Barth when leading after one quarter, 38-6 when leading at halftime and 41-2 when leading after three quarters … Eureka again controlled time of possession at 33:09 … Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) made six extra points and booted a career-long 67-yard punt in the fourth quarter … Former All-Illini-Badger Football Conference defensive back Ryan Brewster was recognized at halftime as the newest football graduate in the Eureka College Hall of Fame.